The Orissa High Court issued notices to at least six government engineering colleges in the state, including Vir Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), on Tuesday to explain how they would increase the number of seats in certain courses in the current academic session without getting due approval from AICTE.

A division bench of Justices Indrajit Mahanti and D P Choudhury issued notices to the institutions while adjudicating over a petition filed by Odisha Private Engineering Colleges Association (PECA).

The petitioner had challenged the decision of the government institutions to increase their seats by over 600 from 2015 without prior approval of AICTE.

AICTE approval is binding for every technical institution before introducing new courses or increasing the number of seats in the existing courses, the petition said adding that about six government engineering colleges of the state have increased the seats of existing courses withot the approval of the regulatory body.

The cases would be heard again on July 6.